Two very different headlines this week ought to give us all pause.
Two very different headlines this week ought to give us all pause. Mother Nature’s awful conflagration in southern California has been front and center all week long for the American news media. And why not? The greatest evacuations in California’s history were the result of what may yet be the most devastating fires in that state’s history. Fortunately the loss of human life was limited. But the economic and ecological losses to that region of the state and nation are monumental and mounting.
Scientists and climatologists describe “the perfect storm” of unusually dry, hot autumn weather and a prolonged drought for the region combined with the blast of the easterly Santa Ana winds. Some speak of “global warming,” others of “climate change,” but all wonder if this destructive convergence of nature’s forces is an omen of things to come.
This same week on the other side of the Atlantic, the German-based Energy Watch Group (www.energywatchgroup.org) released a study in London announcing that global oil production peaked in 2006 (much earlier than experts had expected), and that production “will fall by half as soon as 2030.” Hans-Josef Fell, EWG’s founder and a member of the German parliament, said, “The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This is a huge problem for the world economy” (10-22-07, www.guardian.co.uk).
British energy economist David Fleming, in responding to this report, stated, “Anticipated supply shortages could lead easily to disturbing scenes of mass unrest as witnessed in Burma this month. For government, industry and the wider public, just muddling through is not an option any more as this situation could spin out of control and turn into a complete meltdown of society” (ibid). (An over reaction? One doesn’t have to be a geologist or a prophet to predict that in order to sustain the world’s petroleum-based economies, military conquest and control of earth’s oil reserves may be the only political solution for economic survival.)
The point of these two headlines? Apocalyptic prophecies of global ecological meltdown before the return of Christ (see Revelation 16) may not be so far fetched after all.
But how should the Adventist Christian respond? First, let us be “green” and lead our communities in protecting the earth—practicing recycling, conserving fuel consumption (walk more, drive less), preserving natural habitats of wildlife and fauna, etc. (See www.treehugger.com/gogreen.php for more suggestions.) But second, let us be “going.” The thinking class of earth earnestly seeks a solution. What better time to go to them with the good news of Christ’s promise, “I am coming soon to make all things new” (Revelation 22:12; 21:5). Mother nature and human nature both stand in need of deliverance. More and more it is clear—the only lasting solution left for earth is the One who is soon to come. Then shall we not go to them for him now?